Va’etchanan 5764-2004

"The Dialectic of Body and Soul"

Judaism has always placed a premium on the spiritual, an emphasis that has kept Jewish life alive and flourishing for over 3000 years. While we certainly need to continue to focus on the well-being of our souls, now may be the propitious time for all people, especially the Jewish community, to pay more attention to our bodies. Jewish leaders need to speak out forcefully regarding the ills of overeating and smoking, to encourage proper eating and exercise. This parasha, which features some of the ultimate spiritual texts of the Torah, such as the Shema and the Ten Commandments, also underscores the critical attention that needs to be placed upon the mitzvah of taking care of our bodies.

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